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Tue, Aug. 21st, 2012, 12:50 pm
Yesterday's Check-In (Monday): Attitude of Gratitude

Have had this headache for days, and AgtOrange has a bit of cough. We may both be getting sick at the same time. It's really dragging me down. As much as I wanted to go out and do my usual Monday social routine, I just didn't feel up to it. Curled up in bed with a book, had a long phone conversation with Peregrine, and then went to sleep.

It didn't help that my neurologist told me I didn't need to come back because "there is nothing more we can do for you here" and wished me good luck as I left. I spent hours at the doctor, wasted a good portion of the day sitting around to have them tell me that. *sigh* She says she'd swear it was a collagen disorder, but I've been to the rheumatologist already.

Comprehensive List of Tasks

  • Run & Stretch class replaced by Neurologist appt 3/4pts
  • Groom = yes
  • meal = 1/2 pts, had a good-for-me lunch with Tallcat
  • Spanish = no
  • chore = no
  • coping = this I managed to do, while my headache receded after more sumatriptan
  • bar visit = no

Medication = yes
Sober (no drinking/drugs/cutting) = yes
No Compulsions = yes
Extras = yes, curling up in bed I'm sure was good for me

TOTAL SCORE = 9.5/15 63% I wish this headache would GO AWAY.

Today's Revelations

Apparently, I keep coming across to people as selfish and unappreciative, but I don't see it. Even when I try to see it, I don't see it. Makes me wonder if this is really selfishness or an Aspie trait (because it can be, Autistic/Asperger folk come across as selfish & self-centered). Then again, I've often found that people call you selfish because you didn't give them something they wanted. I guess Shaolin was unhappy I was unappreciative of the work he did for me yesterday. He did do a bunch of good work, but we traded massages so I didn't think I needed to thank him verbally, and he also triggered me. Five years ago that would have been me attempting suicide. As I told AgtOrange, if you bring me lunch to my house, but then run over my foot on the way out, don't expect me to thank you for lunch.

The whole thing just feels odd to me anyway. I can't make sense of it. I do healer type stuff, I try to help people, and I never expect thanks or am disappointed by a lack of thanks. Heck, working in the pharmacy I was just happy if folks I helped weren't actively hostile or threatening bodily harm. Usually by the time they hit the clinic pharmacy with their screaming children and a series of interminable waiting periods behind them, they are at the very last straw, and telling them an hour (sometimes more) for prescriptions is pretty much breaking that straw. We used to have patients threaten us, including "when does your shift end because I'm going to meet you in the parking lot" and lots of name calling i.e. "the other pharmacy can fill my prescription in twenty minutes, you obviously don't know your jobs." And you aren't allowed to say anything back, of course, because being compassionate is always our endgoal, but damn they made it tough sometimes. There were days I wanted to take someone's prescription, cough in it, and hand it over saying, "here's your prescription you bitch." That was pretty much about the time I started thinking about a career shift.

Working at the needle exchange is such a blessing compared to the clinic. It's nice that I'm occasionally thanked, but I certainly don't expect it and I don't take it personally when people are mildly hostile or suspicious. "I don't want to talk to you; where's so-and-so?" is a pretty common thing, and understandable, along with, "Who are YOU?" with that I-have-just-swallowed-a-cockroach look. That doesn't include those obviously jonesing, who are twitchy and nervous acting, muttering things like "come Ooooon hurry up" then snatch the bag from your hand and disappear out the door. Those don't happen all that often, but they do. I could just as easily think, how rude, but usually I'm thinking, "oh, poor dear, I hope they get their fix soon, that must feel awful."

I've never understood the politeness thing anyway. To me, it all seems false; I HATE fake people. A Southern Belle will thank you for just about anything, and mean it about as much as if you'd handed them laxatives. And I don't get why people want thanks. When I help someone, it is because helping them makes me feel good... and if they do something good because I've helped them, it makes me feel even better. The few times I have gone in expecting some kind of gratitude, I'm always disappointed, and then I have to remind myself how dumb it was to do anything for the gratitude. It's not what helping is about. And when people don't reciprocate or even pay it forward, it makes me a little sad, but that doesn't stop me from helping them again in the future. I get something out of helping people, so I don't need to get two somethings out of one act. The fact that the other person ALLOWED me to help them (which is very hard for many to do) is all I need, expecting thanks on top seems a bit greedy to me. I'll accept one thanks, but any more than that makes me feel supremely uncomfortable anyway.

Screw it, I guess I'm unappreciative. All I can think in my head is, wait, I allowed you to help me, which means allowing you to see me in an uncomfortably vulnerable position, allowing you to control some aspect of my life, putting you in some position of power over me by heeding your words and advice, and you want me to thank you for it? It's hard enough just to do that, if I grovel thanks all over you I feel like I'm acknowledging that you are somehow superior to me. I mean, sure, thanks for sharing your skills or knowledge, but how much thanks do you want? And why can't we just share and neither one of us thank the other, because we both get something out of it?

It's like when I worked retail and people thanked me because I handed them their change. Um, you are going to thank me for handing you YOUR money; what if I didn't give it back? What exactly are you trying to thank me for? I'm not doing this job for you. I'm doing this job for the paycheck. Sure, without customers there would be no paychecks, but where I worked it barely mattered if you gave good service or crap service. What brought people in was CHEAP service, and that's about the quality of customers you received. Don't thank me for doing my job, buy more shit here so I can keep my job. If you do work for me, I don't want to thank you for the work, I want to PAY you, and I don't want you to thank me for the money, you EARNED it. The whole system of politeness has always felt alien to me, it's a means of habit used to hide what you really think or feel. People will thank you for just about anything you hand them out of sheer habit and for what? Usually it is something that belongs to them by rights anyway: their change, their jacket, their purse, their paycheck. If you didn't give those things back, you'd be stealing.

I can't tell you the number of times as a waitress I got, "wow that was really great service, sorry but I can't afford to tip you". Then why the fuck did you go out to eat, you cheap assholes? Serves me right for working at a diner near a college. They'd spend all their cash on beer across the street, order breakfast and pay in change with no tip, and you'd be stuck hearing them talk about their European summer vacation in the background and muttering because now you have handfuls of nickles and pennies to work with. If I'm working a job, I don't want thanks, I want MONEY so I can pay my bills and eat. If you teach me something, let me teach you something back, so instead of me thanking you at the end I can say, "wow, what a great conversation. It was really nice talking with you!" I'd much rather share, and have it be fair and honest, than some kind of one-sided interaction. I'd much rather you pay it forward than have your gratitude.

And for the love of all that is good, if anything I ever write helps you in any way, I'd be glad to hear about it but please don't thank me. I'm happy just to know someone reads this stuff and that it was useful and maybe, if I'm really, really lucky, something cool I've learned from someone or one of these books will help someone else who will help teach it to someone else and it will just keep moving forward, gratitude unnecessary.

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